Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Interesting interview with Maj. Gen. James Marks, who was the senior intelligence officer for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command and sat in the interrogations of three from the deck of 55.

These guys have no redeeming qualities," he said.

One of the guys was a woman, nicknamed Mrs. Anthrax.

Of Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, the general said, "The woman was arrogant, very hard, very defiant and obstinate and she swore in perfect English. She's no soccer mom."

Marks said he was surprised by the appearance of Iraq's former deputy foreign minister, Tariq Azziz.

"He's a blabbermouth," Marks said of Azziz.

When he first sat in on an interrogation with Azziz, the former official of Saddam's regime was in the midst of a hunger strike, the general said.

"I said, 'Look Mr. Minister, you play to their ego a little bit, do you know how these hunger strikes end, you eat. So why not go ahead and eat,' and Tariq said OK," Marks said.

Unfortunately, since he had had no solid food for nearly four days, the military food -- an MRE, or Meal Ready to Eat -- went through him and he "gets a case of the trots."

"Here's an image of Azziz: He is under military escort, walking gingerly from the latrine, has on a dirty white robe, a four-day growth on his face, his false front teeth are missing and all he wants is a cigarette. This guy smokes like a chimney," Marks said.

A military doctor checked Azziz and found his blood pressure to be fine, but his heart was racing at nearly 90 beats a minute, Marks said.

"He was nervous," the general said.

Marks also sat in on the interrogation of Amiz Hamudi Hasan al-Saadi, Saddam's scientific adviser who was the first of the 55 listed in the deck of cards to turn himself in.

"He's talking. He gave himself up with the intention to provide full disclosure," Marks said. "I met him. He is Mr. Head WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Scientist. His English was impeccable."

The former Iraqi lieutenant general said he was not going to run because he is a man of dignity and is looking for a better life in the future, Marks said.

Finding weapons of mass destruction is important, Marks said. He added that he was deeply involved in developing target folders for nearly 900 suspected sites where weapons of mass destruction might be found.

Marks helped create the 75th Exploitation Task Force, which includes intelligence specialists, to check every known site and others as they are discovered.

"There is enough evidence of items that can be used to make WMD and ancillary operations for manufacturing them," Marks said.

< email | 6/26/2003 05:00:00 PM | link

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